In various contexts, this word can have different meanings.

If you’ve been following this series, you’ll realize that we’ve been tackling a few filler words lately. This month it’s ‘Bass’. As mentioned in previous editions of this series, filler words usually don’t hold significant meaning but are heavily used in colloquial Arabic. Unlike most filler words that are only found in Levantine Arabic, the word “bass” is found in Khaleeji and Egyptian dialects too. There are, however, different words used in North African dialects to refer to bass’ multiple meanings.

Bass may sound like a linguistic filler like “um” or “uh,” but it’s not. Depending on the conversation context, bass is commonly used to mean “stop” or “but.”

As a general rule, bass replaces “but” in most cases – even in entire English conversations, since it naturally rolls off the tongue easier. Bass can also mean “stop” if someone bickers or eats your brain. It’s also used as a singular phrase to end an argument. Likewise, bas indicate “no more” when someone offers you food or requests a specific quantity of something.

Interestingly enough, it also means the same in Hindi. This isn’t surprising, considering Hindi comes from the Semitic family of languages, which also includes Arabic.